PowerBook 5300 FAQ

AlkSoft / Contents / Hardware / Networking

2.8) Networking

2.8.1) What kinds of networks can I connect to?

The 5300 doesn't have any dedicated network ports built into it, but that doesn't mean it can't connect to networks. The 5300 can connect to a traditional LocalTalk/AppleTalk network via the lone printer/modem port and either a LocalTalk cable and connector or a PhoneNet adapter. The maximum throughput on this kind of network is a mild ~230kbps, so they are fairly uncommon in this day of gigabit ethernet. Speaking of ethernet, the 5300 can connect to an ethernet network via the user of a PC card or a PDS card. The PDS card only exists in a 10base-T variety, but PC Cards are available up to 100base-TX speeds. Additionally, through the use of a wireless networking card, you can connect to a wireless (802.11b or "Wi-Fi") network. There are also cards for the older 802.11 DSSS and FHSS 1 and 2 Mbps wireless networking standards, as well as cards for networks such as the Ricochet wireless ISP. The infrared port on the 5300 will allow it to connect to an IRTalk/AppleTalk based infrared network. You can connect ISDN modems through the serial ports to get an Internet connection in places where other forms of broadband may not be available. Finally, with PC Card or external modems, you can connect to all sorts of other networks from Remote Access/AppleTalk networks to terminal servers to AOL to the Internet.

2.8.2) What network printers can I use?

This list is fairly broad. Every network printer printer that Apple ever made can be used by the 5300, of course. There are also several HP, QMS, GCC, and other laser printers that have their own drivers for Mac OS. Finally, for certain PostSript or LPR printers hooked up to an IP network, you can use Apple's Desktop Printer Utility to connect to and print to printers that wouldn't normally supply Mac OS drivers. Most serial or parallel printers that are hooked up to a PC and then "shared," on the other hand, cannot be used by a Mac through any of Apple's software. However, Thursby System's DAVE allows Macs to talk to these printers as well. Thus, there are very few network-connected printers that the PowerBook 5300 cannot use.

2.8.3) How do I use infrared networking?

The physical setup is pretty simple. Only a handful of PowerBooks have a compatible infrared port with the 5300. They are the PowerBook 190 (with the IR option), the PowerBook 1400, the PowerBook 2400, the PowerBook 3400, the PowerBook G3 (Kanga), and the PowerBook G3 Series (Wallstreet). No other Macs (except those equipped with a Farallon AirDock infrared transciever) will work with the 5300's infrared port.

Arrange the Macs so that their infrared windows are facing each other and spaced about 3 feet (or no more than 5 feet) apart. They need to be within about a 20-30 degree cone of visibility from the IR window. Make sure there are no obstructions blocking the line-of-sight between the two infrared windows.

On both computers, open the AppleTalk control panel and set "Connect via:" to "Infrared Port (IRTalk)." Close and save the changes to this control panel. On at least one computer (let's call it Mac A), open the File Sharing (or Sharing Setup for older systems) control panel, and turn on File Sharing. You may have to specify some users in the User & Groups section (or the Users & Groups control panel for older systems). You may also have to set the permissions and share certain folders by "getting info" on the appropriate folders. Assuming you've set everything up correctly, you can now open the chooser on Mac B and connect to Mac A with the AppleShare client as you would for any normal AppleTalk file server. Clicking on AppleShare in Mac B's Chooser should show Mac A's name on the right side. You can then mount Mac A's shared folders/disks on Mac B and swap files back and forth.

Alternatively, you can use Apple's "Apple IR File Exchange" software to swap files between two IRTalk equipped Macs. For more about setting up Apple IR File Exchange, check out the help guide inside that program.

2.8.4) How do I use LocalTalk/serial/AppleTalk networking?

This is actually a fairly complicated question. A fantastic place for the beginner to learn about networking via AppleTalk is at ThreeMacs.com [About This Particular Macintosh - www.atpm.com]. I won't go into detail here since ThreeMacs.com does such a terrific job of explaining things.

2.8.5) How can I get on an Ethernet network?

First, read about ethernet PC Cards in section 2.7.4) or about the PDS ethernet card in section 2.2.6) and section 2.6.6). If you have one of these cards, you can connect directly to an ethernet network. If you don't, you can still connect to an ethernet network through the use of a transceiver such as the Farallon EtherWave adapter. (The EtherWave has a limitation in that it uses the serial port and can only thus pass LocalTalk packets - that means that if your network doesn't support MacIP, you won't be able to get on the Internet with an EtherWave equipped Mac. The EtherWave equipped Mac can still see all the AppleTalk devices on the network, however.)

Plug in your ethernet cable to your ethernet connector.

In the TCP/IP control panel, set "Connect via:" to the appropriate ethernet card. Ask your network administrator how you should set up the other details of the control panel - it will usually be "Configure: Using DHCP Server." (If using the EtherWave, you would connect via AppleTalk/MacIP.)

In the AppleTalk control panel, set "Connect via:" to the appropriate ethernet card. (If using the EtherWave, you would connect via the serial port to which it is connected.) If you haven't already connected the ethernet cable, the control panel will complain at this point and refuse to let you pick the ethernet card until you connect a "live" cable to the computer.

2.8.6) How can I get on a wireless LAN?

Again, this is a faily complicated question. From a hardware aspect, all you need is a wireless LAN PC card like the ORiNOCO Silver or a wireless LAN transceiver that you plug into an ethernet cable connected to an ethernet card on your PowerBook. Assuming you actually have a wireless card and not an ethernet transceiver, you should check out this article on Derek Miller's Penmachine.com. Until I get around to fleshing out my own article, Derek's is certainly a good enough guide.